New rear deck #1: Montana Sawmill

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Blog entry by Bluepine38 posted 07-30-2012 03:56 AM 2870 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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My old rear deck was falling apart. The ledger board was not treated lumber and had been installed without
a drip cap and was half rotted, since it is the first thing put up and the last taken down, the entire deck had
to be torn down. No pictures of this, it was just too badly built. The county building inspectors said that
4X4 post would be OK as supports, but then they wanted more 4X4 post bolted to the sides of the deck
as guard posts to support the railing. I decided to simplify life and combine the support posts and guard posts
in bigger posts. Why pay for wood when the pine beetle had hit my son’s property and there were plenty
of trees cut and waiting. I cut the trees to length and discovered that over the last few years logs had
gotten heavier, I could not have gotten weaker. So I grabbed a 12” X 8’ piece of plywood and screwed it
to a log as a straight edge cut one almost straight side and moved the plywood to that side and continued
until I had a roughly squared and considerably lighter timber.

I brought these home and let them dry out for a week and then using the same plywood fence idea ran
them through my bandsaw.

This gave me some timbers that needed smoothing, but since I had made them roughly tapered, I could
not run them through the planer, I tried to use my slick.

Since trying to sand this fresh wood only gives you plugged up sand paper on the belt sander, the slick
helped a little, but I had to use my draw knives to get a smooth surface. I used a copper treatment on
the bottom of the posts to prevent rot and notched the top of the posts to support the deck and
provide a support post for the railing

The pieces I cut out for the notch will be used as guard posts in between the support posts. Finding
good deck wood is difficult, so I l am waiting for a local sawmill to run some fir dimension wood so I can
get select grade wood for the deck. I did use trek for my front deck, but wanted to use real wood on
this back one. I may not be smart, but I sure am stingy. I am also unable to control my urge to work
instead of taking pictures of what I am doing most of the time.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

3 comments so far

View Porchfish's profile


823 posts in 2525 days

#1 posted 07-30-2012 01:39 PM

Whoa ! Those are some deck timbers there my friend ! Please post a photo of the deck as you progress ! Looking Good ! Bet those beauties humbled the inspector right nicely !

Don Schneider, Havana Fl.

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3098 days

#2 posted 07-30-2012 04:19 PM

Each time I have needed to ‘fix’ a problem with a porch or deck at my house, I also ended up taking it all down. It seems to become a major project. Great use of the available trees. I have a pile of 20” 2×6 trex, but would rather use real wood also. Just redid a small addition to a covered porch, but no pictures. Too busy working when the sun isn’t blazing down.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View DocSavage45's profile


8545 posts in 2835 days

#3 posted 07-30-2012 06:50 PM

They ARE heavy! Like your saw mill! LOL! You have a good eye for cutting. And patience? Is that a 17” grizzly band saw? and you have got to have some shop space to do that? I’m envious. LOL! It’s wierd that I get some peoples projects and blogs but not others. Gonna watch this. :-) What kind of furniture is this?????

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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